wrestling / News

Tony Khan On Why Triple H Taking Over WWE Is a Good Thing, the Importance Of Ratings

August 10, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Tony Khan AEW Image Credit: AEW

Tony Khan sees Triple H taking over WWE as something that can help AEW as well, and he explained why in a new interview. Khan spoke with DAZN for a new interview promoting tonight’s episode of Dynamite and you can check out some highlights below:

On whether too many people make big a deal of ratings: “I don’t know. I think it’s important. It seems like a metric that wrestling fans have followed for decades to track promotion success. It didn’t really become a thing that was widely publicized and disseminated not just among wrestling fans but even by media covering wrestling. There’s been a lot more interest in it since the Monday Night Wars of the ’90s. It’s a metric that stuck with us, and people have used to track the success of promotions. I think the ranking is what’s emblematic of what’s happening in TV at that time and place. In the current cable and satellite universe, there’s a ton of money in rights fees. It’s brought a lot of interest to the pro wrestling business, and I’ve been able to leverage it into building a pretty big business over the last few years.

“Our competition, WWE, has done a great job building their TV business and generating huge revenues through multiple TV properties. No company besides them has ever generated hundreds of millions of dollars through TV and pay-per-view, as we have done in our relationship with Warner Brothers Discovery and the pay-per-view business we built for AEW. AEW is doing something special, and it’s only possible because of the wrestling fans around the world who’ve supported the business over the last few years.”

On waiting so long to rematch Jericho vs. Moxley: “Jon Moxley vs. Chris Jericho was the main event of the first ever Revolution pay-per-view. I think what we’ve seen from Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho since then, they’ve been two of the top wrestlers in AEW. Right now, this is the best we’ve seen. 2022, both of them came back. They were both out for health reasons, totally different reasons, respectively. But they both came back separately in the best condition they’ve been in since they joined AEW, and they’re both more dangerous and better than they’ve been here. They’re two of the top stars. They were the first two world champions in the history of the company. We have the two of them fighting for that same belt, the interim world championship. Whoever is the interim world champion when CM Punk comes back is going to be in line for a big unification match, and I’m excited about that. But also, I don’t want everything to be a rematch because sometimes, in this case, you can save them, where it really means something, a rematch from one of our big pay-per-view events. But they’re not just being thrown together. They’ve been the guys in my opinion, for the summer that helped us get through this summer more so than anybody with Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley.”

On if 2022 has been their hardest year between injuries and Triple H taking over WWE’s creative: “I wouldn’t compare that to the stuff we were going through in 2020 (with the pandemic and the passing of Brodie Lee). That was horrible. But with the pandemic and shows being shut down, no live fans, having to figure out ways around that. Brody getting sick. So your original question was, what was the hardest year? Yeah, that was for a multitude of reasons. Like I was saying, I don’t think those are all necessarily bad things. The wrestling business is benefiting, I think in a lot of ways from changes. You asked about it with the injuries. Well, we’ve responded pretty well to those, and people that have been out for a variety of reasons are all starting to come back. There’s a lot of light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re getting close to the end of that tunnel in many ways.

“Now the competition changing, I think that’s a good thing in some ways. If you like good wrestling, you’re just more likely to want to see it because our competitor has been doing better shows recently than they had been doing, I think. I watch them pretty often, and I think they’ve been better. It seems like that’s the consensus among people who watch them. I do think in general, if it’s gonna get more people watching wrestling, that’s probably not gonna hurt any wrestling company. And we stand to gain the most in many ways because if you’re a big wrestling fan, and if you’ve been away and you like good wrestling, you might be saying, ‘Where are Chris Jericho and Bryan Danielson? CM Punk’s back?’ So as we get to an exciting point of a lot of people coming back to the company, but a lot of new fans also, I think hopefully they want to embrace the new wrestlers in AEW and also a lot of the big names in AEW that you’ll be able to see on a regular basis, people that are on the show every week and have been going all summer like Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley. Then again, whenever CM Punk is back, there’s a big setup for an undisputed championship to be crowned.”